EDS: Prime Real Estate

Mary Levy writes for Cambridge Day about the finer points of selling the buildings of Episcopal Divinity School:

The campus consists of more than a dozen properties on an eight-acre campus largely built in 1920 that together accounts for some 155,374 of built square footage assessed at $51.8 million. A July 2016 draft analysis [PDF] prepared for the trustees expected the sale to give school assets a $25.5 million boost as of the 2021-22 fiscal year.

The real estate ramifications are significant — the campus is cater-corner from Harvard’s Radcliffe Yard and the Harvard Graduate School of Education. It’s a block away from Cambridge Common. That makes it prime real estate, but the historical nature of the buildings and presence of St. John’s Memorial Chapel means it’s unlikely a developer will be able to come in, raze the buildings and put up structures with significant return on investment.

Another complication: EDS has been in a partnership with Lesley University since 2008, a relationship that allowed Lesley to [expand] its dormitory, dining and office facilities; the institutions shared the campus’ Sherrill Library.

“Our partnership with EDS has created tremendous opportunity for both institutions to meet their missions and serve their students. EDS has been a committed partner and neighbor,” said Joseph Moore, former president of Lesley, when getting an honorary degree from the Episcopal Divinity School last year in recognition of his work joining the two.

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